When investigating Trump, Look Both Ways

My advice to students I’ve had the chance to supervise is extensive, but includes the phrase “look both ways.” In that case, I refer specifically to library research. This worked better when most of our research was done using dead tree fragments. Here’s how it works. You find out about a book of interest. You go find it on the shelf in the library. Instead of just pulling it off the shelf and checking it into your carrel, you stop for a moment and look both ways. There is a good chance that the books right next to the one you found are by the same author, or about the same topic, or in some other way related. Indeed, you may have located a useful source, the one you sought, but didn’t know that the same author also did research in exactly the area you are working, wrote the classic tome on it, and in fact, that classic tome is what you thought your thesis was going to be on based on this great idea you had at the bar last night!

This works even better with journal articles. Looking both ways here means noting that the journal you are looking in may be one you didn’t know about but that also covers the topic you are pursuing. The issue you are looking at may be a special issue on this sub-sub-topic you are looking into. The fellow authors of the paper you are looking at probably have something to do with this topic, so follow them up as well.

There is a version of all of this that works with electronic searching, of course. Easier in some ways, more limiting in the effects of propinquity in others. Try them both out, it works like a charm.

Meanwhile, I’ve been disappointed with how little looking both ways has happened in relation to the Trump investigation. I wrote something a while back in which I tried to point this out, and I wish the great journalists at the Washington Post and MSNBC and such had read it because they would have been much father along by now! But they are getting there. Have a look at: How to Understand the Trump-Russia Scandal.

The first think you need to do to “look both ways” with Trump is to look both ways in his life. Journalists are just now starting to understand that Trump has always been involved with organized crime (possibly explaining the as yet barely explored Guliniani connection), and that has included the Russian mob, and real estate, and that Paul Manefort has been there all along. There are connections between Trump, his associates, and major Mafia dealings going way back.

The second thing you need to do is to look both ways in the Republican Party. Of course the Russians helped the GOP get or expand a majority. Of course the Russians are working to take out one Democrat after another. Look for Russian influence and money in every GOP won race, or any close race, and even at the state level. The Russians are not going to meddle with, and exploit, the Presidential election without also influencing Congress. Look closely at all those Republicans who are reluctant to fight Trump on Russia. They too may owe their job in Washington (or elsewhere) to Gusifer 2 or some other nefarious group, or may have been funded by Russians to the tune of enough money to matter.

This has been obvious since day one. Suddenly, people are taking notice. Good.

I promise you, the very little bit of this we are seeing now is the tip of a huge Russian ice berg.

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7 thoughts on “When investigating Trump, Look Both Ways

  1. I wonder where Soviet born Orly Taitz figures into this. She touted her wacky birtherism from around 2008 or earlier. So why did she constantly attack Obama, and why did Trump pick up on the theme a few years later? Taitz has been a witting or unwitting messenger for some powerful non-US entity, possibly Russia or Israel, maybe both. Her constant barking of birther falsehoods numbed the senses and made it much harder to quickly and easily dismiss and sideline Trump as a completely idiotic eccentric crank when he came out as a birther. She helped allow his media persona to survive at a time when he should have been cast aside as nothing more than freak show entertainment. Now he is our president. Just as Russia and Israel wanted it. Strange.

  2. If we’re going to catalog a history of Russian interference, it would be worth remembering the hack of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia. That episode was a major impetus for denialist propaganda that successfully resulted in a decade of delay on mitigating carbon emissions.

    This is a significant component in the overall Russian/Putin shaping of the 21st century, and we ignore it at our peril when trying to understand how best to move forward.

  3. I do get worried when the documentation for various pieces of hardware, firmware, and software, for IOT devices, when you dig deep because you can’t find an answer in the obvious places to some technical question, are written in a combination of English, Turkish and Russian with a thin veneer of Chinese .

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